Required Reading is DoomRocket’s love chest, where each week one of our contributors goes crazy over a book they just can’t seem to get enough of. This week, Matt reads the collected edition of ‘The Electric Sublime’, a mind-bending saga of high art, from IDW Publishing.

'The Electric Sublime' is required reading

Cover to ‘Electric Sublime’. Art by Martín Morazzo/IDW Publishing

By Matthew C. Brown. When Dylan paints them, moo cows die. He’s not good with words, he’s only a boy. It’s better when he draws.

The problem is, when he draws pictures they happen in the world. He doesn’t mean to do it. But he has to draw.

What Dylan doesn’t know is, there’s been a string of art-related deaths all over the world. Naturally this sounds like a case for Margot Breslin, the new Director of the Bureau of Artistic Integrity (B.A.I.) — but is it? She’s educated at Berkley and Rhode Island, well-versed in all of art history, but even someone as qualified as she has never seen anything quite like this. One could say the same of W. Maxwell Prince’s The Electric Sublime.  

Art is alive. It affects us every day in the real world. The Electric Sublime takes that concept one step further and opens up a world unlike any you’ve experienced. How would we react if static art suddenly changed from the inside? 

Art builds on itself in a trapped effort to eff the ineffable, but there is one man who knows very well the fluid nature of art and the universe that lies behind it: Art Brut, insane dream painter. He can walk into and through the world inside art, speaking to its inhabitants while safeguarding their integrity. Are you brave enough to follow him into The Electric Sublime?

If you’re B.A.I. Director Margot Breslin, and the Mona Lisa just winked at you, do you have a choice?   

'The Electric Sublime' is required reading

Interior page from ‘Electric Sublime’. Art by Martín Morazzo/IDW Publishing

The team behind The Electric Sublime takes the art that we’ve grown accustomed to and shakes it awake. With all the action of a summer blockbuster and all the mystery of an impressionistic painting we are thrust into a world of “art-problems” that need solving. Drawn and colored with masterful acuity by Martín Morazzo and Mat Lopes, this whirlwind of color and brushstrokes is as enticing as a “Starry Night” and, appropriately enough, just as dynamic.

The Electric Sublime has based its world around famous paintings throughout art history, but the insane thing about W. Maxwell Prince’s narrative is that it has the potential to tap into any other art form: photography and film, the written and spoken word, music and even multimedia installation pieces — Art Brut, the complex Doctor Who of this multifaceted multiverse, can romp through them all. It’s an incredibly bold and daunting undertaking, but one that has already yielded incredible results.

For the love of art and comics everyone should read this book. While you head out to grab a copy of the trade, out now from IDW, I’ll attempt to keep my head from exploding when contemplating the day Art Brut meets Neil Gaiman’s world of The Sandman. (Not to mention Art Brut meeting Art Brut, but I’m getting ahead of myself.) The possibilities are endless, and for anyone who has grown bored of the post-modern world, wake up! The Electric Sublime is waiting for you in every piece of art, this one included.

IDW Publishing/$17.99

Written by W. Maxwell Prince.

Art by Martín Morazzo.

Colors by Mat Lopes.

Letters by Good Old Neon.

10 THINGS CONCERNING W. Maxwell Prince And The Noble Pursuit Of ‘THE ELECTRIC SUBLIME’